U.K. Main Cities


York [j ɔ ː k], York, City and Unitary Authority, Northern England, on the Ouse, in the fertile Vale of York, 272 km 2, 206,900 residents; University, National Railway Museum, archaeological, folklore, etc. Museums; Confectionery industry; Service center with numerous companies from the tourism, trade, logistics, telecommunications, healthcare and other industries; important railway junction. Just outside the city are the Archbishop’s Palace of York and the University of York (founded in 1963) with a science park and high-tech industries.


Remnants of Roman walls (mainly 4th century AD) and a slightly later section (between 5th and 9th centuries) were exposed and preserved. In the city center is the Gothic cathedral (begun in the 2nd quarter of the 13th century with the two transepts, on the site of a previous Romanesque building) with a chapter house (around 1260 ff.), Nave (1291 ff.) With eight-lane west window (1338); West towers (15th century); Retro choir (14th century), choir (1380–1404); Choir and transepts with large glass windows (1405–37); late Gothic rood screen (1472) with statues of English kings. Nearby are Treasurer’s House (13th and 17th centuries) and the half-timbered house of Saint William’s College (1453). The medieval town center with the »Shambles« (old streets), the All Saints’ Church (stained glass windows from the 14th and 15th centuries) Century) and another 18 preserved parish churches as well as several old guild houses, among others. historical buildings (Merchant Adventurer’s Hall, 1357–68; Committee Room, 15th century; Assembly Rooms, 1730) still has large parts of the restored city wall (14th century) with towers and gates (Micklegate Bar). Outside the old town, included in the Yorkshire Museum, which was built in 1827-30, are the high Gothic ruins of Saint Mary’s Abbey, founded in 1088.


The legionary camp Eburacum (Eboracum, Ebracum), built around 71-74 AD, was an important military base in Roman times and after the division of the province of Britannia under Septimius Severus (who died here in 211) capital of the province of Britannia Inferior. At the beginning of the 7th century it became the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, 627 seat of an archbishop. The city was the most important spiritual and cultural center in northern England in the 8th century. In 867 it was conquered by the Danes, who gave it the name Yorvick. In the Middle Ages, York became very prosperous as a port city with international trade.


Sheffield [ ʃ efi ː ld], an industrial city in the metropolitan county of South Yorkshire, England, on the eastern edge of the Pennine mountains and on-Don, 518 100 residents (agglomeration: 685400 residents).

Anglican bishopric; University of Sheffield (since 1905), Sheffield Hallam University (since 1992, former Polytechnic), Molecular Biology Research Institute; City Museum (with a collection of Sheffield-made tableware and cutlery), Industry Museum, Art Galleries, Theaters, National Center for Popular Music (opened in 1999); Main center of British cutlery manufacturing, well-known steel industry (stainless steel) and others. Metal production, instrument production, aerospace, chemical, clothing industries; increasing importance of high technology with semiconductor industry, science park (electronics, biotechnology); international airport (2005).

Cathedral (since 1914; built mainly in the 14th / 15th centuries); Town hall (1890–97) with a 70 m high tower.

Sheffield, whose nucleus was part of a large manor at the time of the Domesday Book as Escafield, developed in the 12th century with a Norman castle and a parish church. The Medical School (founded in 1828), Firth College (founded in 1879) and the Technical School (founded in 1886) were merged in 1897 to form University College (university since 1905).


Manchester [ mænt ʃ ɪ stə ], city in central England, east of Liverpool, with 537,800 residents, according to London ‘s most important British financial and commercial center. – In the 18th century this was the center of the English cotton industry. Manchester is a symbol of British capitalism (Manchesterism).


Liverpool [ l ɪ vəpu ː l ], city in western England, at the mouth of the Mersey in the Irish Sea, with 552,300 residents. Liverpool became one of the most important ports on earth in the 19th century, but has lost its importance since World War II. New port facilities were built in the neighboring town of Bootle, which has now grown together with Liverpool. – Liverpool is the hometown of Beatles.


Glasgow [ gl ɑ ː sgə ʊ ], largest city and main port of Scotland, with 606,300 residents, on the Clyde area (32 km before flowing into the Firth of Clyde on Scotland’s west coast).


Birmingham [ bə ː m ɪ ɲ əm ], city in central England, with 1.09 million residents, the second largest city in Britain. It has two universities. Birmingham is the center of British metalworking and one of the most important industrial cities in the world.

Kingston upon Hull

Kingston upon Hull [kɪŋstən ə p ɔ n h ʌ l], Hull [h ʌ l], city and unitary authority, East England, at the mouth of Hull in the Humber (flood protection weir), 287 000.

Part of County Humberside between 1974 and 1996. University of Hull (founded 1927), branch of University of Lincoln, maritime museum, saltwater aquarium, art gallery; Commercial port (connected via canals with the northern English industrial area), ferry traffic with Rotterdam-Europoort and Zeebrugge, fishing port; Food processing (especially fish), chemical and medical technology industries. The well-known four-lane suspension bridge Humber Bridge spans the Humber near Hull.

The main sights are the Church of Holy Trinity (choir and transept 1st half of the 14th century, basilic nave with flat ceiling and large tracery windows in the early perpendicular style 1389-1418, crossing tower around 1500); the Trinity House, the home of a religious guild of sailors, from 1753 (expansion in the mid-19th century); Guildhall (1906–14) and City Hall (1903–09), both with a column facade.


Plymouth [ pl ɪ məθ], port city and unitary authority in South West England, on the coast of the English Channel between Plym and Tamar, which open into the indented Plymouth Sound, (2013) 259 000 residents; catholic bishopric; University (founded 1992), Marine Laboratory (Environmental Research Institute), seat of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom; City museum with art gallery. Base of the navy, trading port and marina, industrial site with mechanical engineering, electrotechnical, chemical and versatile light industry; Tourism.

In the nearby Hoe Park on the harbor bay, the Drake statue (1884), the old lighthouse (18th century), Smeaton’s Tower and the naval museum; to the east is the Royal Citadel, built in the 17th century. The Guildhall (19th century) and the 14-story Civic Center (1958–62) by J. F. Stirling are located on the avenue-like main street. In the old town there are still numerous town houses in Georgian style and Regency style as well as Saint Andrew’s Church (15th century, restored after war damage) with the Prysten House (1490). Extensive renovation measures aim to demolish large parts of the city center and rebuild it by 2020.

Plymouth, first mentioned as Sudtone in the Domesday Book in 1086, experienced an economic boom in the 14th century through trade with France. In the 16th century, Plymouth was the port of departure for English explorers and adventurers such as Sir W. Raleigh and Sir F. Drake; from here the British fleet sailed against the Spanish Armada (1588). In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set off from Plymouth for New England on the Mayflower. In 1690 the naval port was built, where the district of Plymouth Dock (renamed Devonport in 1924) was created.


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